Team building is not a product based industry as much as it is a solution based one. Therefore the team building activity you choose for your team is more important than the location you are planning.

Taking your team for a rope course can help build camaraderie and provide for coffee machine talks back at the workplace, but if you are looking for business benefits then choose wisely. Your decision hinges on what you wish to achieve. Don’t compromise these objectives else it will be an event that only adds to the eternal corporate question of effectiveness of such programs. You should also be willing to provide all information pertaining to your team, the issues you currently face or anticipate arising, efficiency levels, previous team building events. This will help your partner to either identify the right activity for you or create one specifically for your group.

Remember to make your list first. This should include team size, what the team does, dynamics, demographics, past events, likely dates, possible locations that you might have shortlisted, whether you would like something competitive or non-competitive. How much time you would like to spend on debrief. What outcomes are you looking for, what would you like your team to take back to the workplace.

Let’s take an example:

50 participants
Average age : 35
Mid-Senior management. Each manager takes decisions for his or her group.
You feel that this group is slightly risk averse, needs to be more decisive. Work together. Accept change. Focus on planning and also work with internal customers better.

If you were to contact me with this requirement, I would offer you – River Runner, one of the best designed team building activities – ever. This is an indoor white water rafting simulation that captures your group and keeps it moving throughout.

The dynamics of this team building activity allow you to understand the importance of customer service and customer focus. You appreciate budgeting and forecasting during your planning phase. You experience the uncertainties of business decisions every time you take your team on a “rapid”. You work with distributed teams – one that builds skills, the second that goes out to earn more for you, and the third that holds fort and manages administration and “day to day” tasks. Through this activity, you build trust among team members. You experience the benefits of transparent and open communication. You compete and you collaborate. You take decisions based on information provided. You work with time as an ally. All this through an indoor white water rafting simulation and experiential session lasting 150 minutes + debrief time.
Its perfect for your management group. There are a lot more business benefits but on the day of your event, I would only focus on the aspects that will help to improve your team.

A team building organization that has more than 20 activity options based on business takeaways can possibly help identify the right team building activity for your group. In India today, teams are no longer just 10-20 strong. You therefore also need a partner who can scale the team building activity for larger groups without losing the essence of the activity or compromise on the takeaway.

Some companies, like d’frens for whom I am writing this (full disclosure: I am a director at d’frens) have spent over eight years in creating and customizing team building activities based on customer requirements and needs. Additionally, they have licensed activities from team building providers across the world and hence built a portfolio of activities that can cater to most business needs. A national presence also helps because with a distributed team, you can ensure the same quality across regions. The international alliance strengthens delivery capability so you can now experience what your counterparts in other geographies of the world are participating through a team building activity.